Batman 50 Writer Tom King got death threats

If You Send a Comic Book Writer Death Threats, What the Hell Is Wrong With You?

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No, no, seriously, seriously. How do you sleep at night? Do you sleep, or are you some sort of blood-sucking sleepless vampire type, but without the charm and fantastic cape collection? I’m genuinely curious.

In the San Diego Comic-Con ramp-up, popular DC writer Tom King tweeted a humorous and rather upbeat photo of himself with the bodyguard he’d been assigned at SDCC, because he received threats of death for penning Batman #50, the recent big event book intended to feature the wedding of Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Selina Kyle (Catwoman). King’s tweet was then retweeted by comics writer Chip Zdarksy, who brought the matter to further attention.

Quick question: what the actual fuck is the matter with you if you engage in behavior like this?

The smiling King seems to be taking this in stride, and his twitter thread is full of messages of support. But King being a cool guy doesn’t negate the fact that he is a real person working in a creative industry and on characters he ostensibly loves himself—and as a result, he must genuinely worry about his safety at a fan convention.

How did we get here as a people?

Some fans were upset over all the hubbub surrounding BATMAN 50, including big spoilers emerging before the issue and its various plot twists and turns. But, like, they are aware that this is a comic book, correct?

I love comic books. You love comic books! We all have strong opinions about comic books. However, no one should ever fear for their life because they worked on a comic book. I can’t believe we’re having this conversation right now.

Every creative person knows that by putting their work out into the public sphere, they’re going to be subject to criticism. Additional layers of harassment aren’t new or an invention of the Internet, either. But the ease with which people now appear to be casually threatening the loss of life because of decisions made about a fictional character in a fictional universe means we should probably just shut down the Internet for good and go outside.

(image: DC Comics, Twitter)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.